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Question: Reveal progress of HDD encryption process?

I am in the middle of an encryption process right now for one of my external HDDs and it's taking a long time, but I only know it's working based on two criteria: firstly, that the HDD is working (the external light is blinking), and secondly that the HDD is not mounted (during the encryption process) but obviously active.


However, there is no clear indication of progress on the encryption process, it not mounted I can understand why, but I would expect there to be something?


Is there a hidden Terminal command that can reveal the progress of an the encryption process in real-time?

iMac, OS X El Capitan (10.11.1), 16GB RAM, late 2011

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Nov 14, 2017 1:04 PM in response to John Galt In response to John Galt

The disk unmounted itself as the process began, the only way I think it will mount is if I reconnect it, which I don't think would be good for the encryption process.


4TB took me around four days before, I think this will only last around a week.

Nov 14, 2017 1:04 PM

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Nov 14, 2017 7:45 PM in response to John Galt In response to John Galt

Interesting. Every time that I have encrypted an external volume it has automatically dismounted and become inaccessible until the process had completed.


What method are you using, I right click and select the option "Encrypt ...<HDD name>"

Nov 14, 2017 7:45 PM

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Nov 15, 2017 8:04 AM in response to Hamper In response to Hamper

Hi Hamper,


In the past I've used Terminal to see the status or progress of a disk encryption.


Open Terminal

Type "diskutil cs list"


Find your drive in the list and look for something that states a status of the encryption process.

Nov 15, 2017 8:04 AM

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Nov 15, 2017 3:21 PM in response to John Galt In response to John Galt

OK, that's what I did. The disk unmounts for a brief moment, after which it automatically mounted again.


A right click reveals "Encrypting ..." and the disk remains usable for all the usual actions.


After verifying that I used Disk Utility to erase it and chose Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted) for its format. It was then immediately usable as an encrypted Time Machine backup disk.


So, no surprises. If yours is not doing that I have no explanation.


For what it's worth it's an OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro 2 TB triple interface model. I have other disks to test if need be.

Nov 15, 2017 3:21 PM

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Nov 16, 2017 3:39 PM in response to John Galt In response to John Galt

I belive a time before the same thing did happen, I do recall being able to right click the HDD to witness the text "Encrypting...", but there no progress feedback on that menu.


This time it has no happened, it's been six days already, but I'll wait for the time it requires.


Every time I use the Terminal command to reveal the Core Storage it doesn't list the encryption progress at all, just what I pasted before. I still see the light flashing and have to assume it's working, but if it's not done in the next few days I may just restart the process until the HDD is recognised in macOS and then I can try to monitor it as suggested.

Nov 16, 2017 3:39 PM

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Dec 1, 2017 2:09 PM in response to John Galt In response to John Galt

I got a new HDD (sent the old 8TB back), which is a 2TB and performed the encryption method inside Disk Utility by selecting "OS X Extended (Journaled, Encrypted)", over the usual right-click on the file, which seemed to achieve the encryption process in about 60 seconds.


What exactly is the difference between these two methods because one would take a lot longer than the other, it must be superficial encryption?

Dec 1, 2017 2:09 PM

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Dec 1, 2017 3:19 PM in response to Hamper In response to Hamper

A ha!


A very good website helped me out here:


http://krypted.com/mac-security/encrypting-os-x-mountain-lion/


In order for the disk to show up it must be converted to CoreStorage, else the "diskutil cs list" will not work. In order to achieve this one must be logged in as Administrator (for security reasons I don't by default) in order to convert the volume, but first you have to find out what the disk identifier is by typing "diskutil list" and taking note of the "disk?s?" number (i.e. not the GUID, nor the EFI).


With this info then convert with the following command (which will require you to type your password): "sudo diskutil corestorage convert disk?s?" (substitute the "?" with the numbers from the diskutil list command readout).


Now when right-clicking the volume and selecting Encrypt the HDD will remain and the process (shown as a percentage) will show on the following command in Terminal: "diskutil corestorage list".

Dec 1, 2017 3:19 PM

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Dec 1, 2017 3:21 PM in response to Hamper In response to Hamper

By the way, I waited blindly SEVENTEEN days for the 8TB HDD (over USB2) to encrypt, that's over two weeks!


I yanked the cable and RTM the HDD, I just got the replacement, it should be done by the new year, but at least I will have a percentage readout this time around.

Dec 1, 2017 3:21 PM

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Question: Reveal progress of HDD encryption process?